Thanksgiving traditionally means poultry, even if the pilgrims feasted on shellfish and the bounty of their first harvest. Who better to talk turkey with than Goffle Road Poultry Farm, a third generation fresh kill poultry and egg farm in Wyckoff, NJ. The family-run business offers free range chicken fryers, roasters and turkeys along with specialty game such as pigeon, quail, pheasant, goose, guinea hens, duck and capon (owner Joe Silvestri’s personal favorite). Specially prepared items such as chicken sausage, chicken and turkey chopped meat and chicken thigh and breast cutlets (sliced in various thicknesses) are also available along with eggs of all sizes and double-yoke varieties.
To gain a little insight into the poultry world I spoke with George Wescott who has worked at Goffle Poultry Farm for over a decade. Goffle Road strictly prohibits the use of any steroids or antibiotics in their operations. They believe their farming methods result in poultry that is healthier and tastier than what can be found in grocery stores. (I agree.) Here’s what George had to say:
How many turkeys do you sell around Thanksgiving?
During the Thanksgiving holiday we end up selling around 12,000 turkeys in addition to tons of geese, chickens, ducks, and other poultry.
Are you still taking orders for the holiday?
Yes, we are accepting orders until this Saturday, November 23rd and people can pick their poultry up Sunday through Wednesday. Normally we aren’t open on Sundays but we make an exception this time of year so that people have time to pick up their orders before the holiday. (The biggest day for order pick-up is on Wednesday, November 27th. But birds, we are told, stay perfectly fresh when picked up as early as Sunday, November 24th, when the store is far more quiet.)
Do you sell any pre-cooked poultry?
No. Basically what we offer is a “do it yourself” kit. We kill it and you cook it however you like. (Brining isn’t necessary, we are told. Goffle’s turkeys are full of flavor and natural juices; no need to introduce extra liquid.)
You have the typical poultry options like chicken and duck but what are some exotic birds you offer?
We have pheasant, Cornish hens, silkies (dark meat chicken), and gourmet capon. We also have two different varieties of duck – Muscovy duck and Peking duck.
For those of us who aren’t up to date on our poultry terminology, what exactly is capon?
Capon is a castrated rooster. The castration alters hormone levels in the rooster which fattens it up. You get a big, hearty chicken breast from capon.
Are there any notable restaurants you supply?
More than I could count. Just look for Goffle Poultry Farm mentioned in the menu at local restaurants.
What is your personal favorite bird for the holiday?
Turkey, of course. It’s a holiday tradition and always delicious.
Goffle Poultry Farm’s retail store is open all year Monday through Saturday from 9:00 – 6:00 daily. To find out more about the farm visit their website at http://www.gofflepoultry.com/index.html.
549 Goffle Road
Wyckoff, NJ 07481